I want to make my own stuffing recipe and can figure out what garnishes to add, but am looking for a simple ratio for bread : stock : eggs, assuming I am using a basic italian loaf.
Well, just looking at an excellent stuffing that I've made 2 (or is it three?) times, the chorizo, mushroom and sweet potato stuffing with ciabatta: 9 cups of cubed artisinal bread, 2 - 2.3 cups of stock (I've used the larger amount) and 1 egg. I would note that this contains 5 cups of fresh mushrooms and onion which both have a lot of moisture that's released during cooking. So, if your add-ins are not real juicy ones, you probably should add more stock. Also, if you're scaling down, you should still use a whole egg, in my opinion, unless you're only cooking for 2 or 3 people, in which case, consider leaving it out (unless you like a custardy stuffing). ;o)
Also, use more or less stock depending on how dry your bread is. I assume that you're going to be leaving it out after cutting it, to make it drier, but even then, a loaf that starts out moist will respond differently during baking than a drier artisanal loaf. ;o)
Thanks very much. That tracks with alot of the recipes Ive seen, with about a 4:1 ratio of bread to stock. The odd thing is some recipes have a much higher ratio, like 10 cups of cubed bread to 1 cup of stock. I know that most of it is just by sight and feel, but having never made stuffing before I'm not sure of how moist you want to get the bread.
It also depends on how moist a stuffing/dressing you like, and whether you're doing it separately in a baking dish, or stuffed in the bird. I always do it separately, and don't like it dry, so I err on the high side of stock/melted butter/egg (and as AntoniaJames said, adjust for liquid in sauteed veggies, fruit, whatever other fixings.) Also, if you bake it separately and think you'll need to pop it back in to reheat a bit before serving, as I often do - timing/juggling so many things in one oven is for me often an imprecise equation - that can dry it out a little too, so take that into account.